Review: Darkness of Light by Stacy Marie Brown (Narration by Michelle Sparks)

4.5 “What Am I?” Stars for the story and 4 stars for the narration.

Lovers of young adult/new adult fantasy/paranormal romances will want to take note of the Darkness Series. Darkness of Light, the debut book in the series, commences laying the groundwork for this intricate, creative world. Much of the book is dedicated to the heroine discovering just what she is and what powers she wields. We also get a glimpse at her potential star-crossed romantic love interest and what his place is in this super natural world. Moreover, the adept narration by Michelle Sparks makes this a good title to experience in audio format.

Ember Brycin knows that she is different–a difference that goes beyond her physical characteristics which includes two different colored eyes that change in color and hair that contains natural red streaks. A fact that has not escaped the notice of her classmates and school administrators who have labeled her a troublemaker given her proximity to certain unexplainable events at her school. With the death of her mother, and having never known her father, her step-father is the one who assumes responsibility for raising her. Try though he might though, Ember continues to court trouble and build her troublemaker reputation.

Then she is sent to a “special” school for students like her where she meets a boy, Eli Dragen, that she considers her nemesis, even if she is equally attracted and affected by his touch. Thus begins the wild journey that ultimately leads to her self-discovery and awareness of how she stands in the middle of a potential war between good and evil and which has the potential to completely end both the fantasy world that she never previously knew existed and the world as we know it.

Will Ember be the key to destruction or salvation? Moreover, will Ember find her HEA?

Michelle Sparks has a youthful voice that works well for this title. This is especially the case given that the book is written from Ember’s perspective. Ms. Sparks also infuses her delivery with scene appropriate emotion to heighten the effect of the story penned by Ms. Brown, and reads the story in a deliberate and slow-paced fashion to allow listeners to fully understand and enjoy it.

Ms. Sparks also slightly modulates her voice to deliver a slightly distinguishable voice for the male dialogues in the story. While not a huge difference, the deepening of her voice is sufficient to differentiate Ember from the male speakers, though it is a little more difficult to differentiate between the male characters based on the narration alone. Therefore, some reliance on dialogue tags is needed.

All in all Darkness of Light is mostly focused on the set-up of the Darkness Series with a big emphasis on the slow reveal of what Ember is and her significance to the fantasy world that is also slowly revealed. Now that I’ve gotten a glimpse of this new, creative world, I can’t wait to continue on to Book 2, Fire in the Darkness, to see how both the fantasy world and romantic arc continue to develop.

Source: Give-away copy.